Hello. I’m Gavin Edwards, contributing editor at Rolling Stone and the New York Times-bestselling author of The Tao of Bill Murray, the ’Scuse Me While I Kiss This Guy series, and Last Night at the Viper Room. I live in Charlotte, North Carolina. I like caffeine, boardgames, and lists with three items.

Tour Schedule: The World According to Tom Hanks

Hello world! I have a new book coming out on October 23 from Grand Central Publishing, The World According to Tom Hanks, and I am coming to your town on my book tour (if your town is one of the five listed below). I will be reading from the book–thrill to the secret life and previously unknown pleasures of America’s favorite actor!–and answering questions about Tom Hanks (or really, anything else you want to ask me about). Also, I’ll be signing copies of The World According to Tom Hanks (or if you want to catch up on The Beautiful Book of Exquisite Corpses, I’m sure we can accommodate you). Laughs! Wisdom! Giveaway promo items! It’ll be ridiculous amounts of fun–you should come, and you should bring everyone you know. (If your town isn’t listed below, I hope to make it your way in the future–or you can carpool with a gang of friends to where I’m going to be.) See you soon!

Charlotte, NC: Tuesday, October 23rd (7 pm)

Park Road Books: 4139 Park Road, Charlotte NC 28209

Chapel Hill, NC: Wednesday, October 24th (7 pm)

Flyleaf Books: 752 Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, Chapel Hill, NC 27514

Davidson, NC: Thursday, October 25th (7 pm)

Main Street Books: 26 S. Main Street, Davidson, NC 28036

Asheville, NC: Monday, October 29th (6 pm)

Malaprop’s Bookstore: 55 Haywood Street, Asheville, NC

Portland, OR: Thursday, November 1st (7:30 pm)

Powell’s Books: 3723 SE Hawthorne Boulevard, Portland, OR

posted 8 October 2018 in Buy My Stuff. no comments yet

I Want to See Some History

I recently interviewed Tim Mohr for Billboard on the topic of his excellent new book, Burning Down the Haus, which tells the story of punk rock in East Germany before the Berlin Wall fell–in other words, a punk scene that had real political stakes (unlike many in the United States). He told me, “The German edition of the book uses one of the slogans as the title: ‘Strib nicht im Warteraum der Zukunft,’ which means “Don’t Die in the Waiting Room of the Future.” It’s a great rallying cry against complacency.” Read the interview and buy the book from Algonquin.

posted 29 September 2018 in Articles, Outside. no comments yet

Aretha Franklin at the Kennedy Center

Three days before Aretha Franklin died, I got a call from an editor at the New York Times, asking if I could put together an oral history of the Queen of Soul’s amazing 2015 performance of “Natural Woman” at the Kennedy Center (honoring Carole King). The catch was that since she didn’t have very long to live, I had only 24 hours to get the story done. It turned out to be the best kind of therapy: although I was grieving the loss of one of the greatest singers of the 20th century, I got to talk about her genius with people who loved her and had spent time with her. As always with pieces like this, nothing happened at first and I despaired of getting anyone at all to talk to me, and then in the final hour before the deadline I ended up juggling Cicely Tyson and James Taylor. You can read the article here.

posted 10 September 2018 in Articles, Outside. no comments yet

The Beautiful Book of Exquisite Corpses on Sale Now!

The Beautiful Book of Exquisite Corpses: A Creative Game of Limitless Possibilities is out now. I’m so proud of this book, I can’t even begin to tell you, but I guess I should try.

Let’s start with a quick explanation: it’s an creativity book, designed to send blue sparks through your brain and to enable long-distance collaborations with incredibly cool people (more on them in a minute). It’s based on the century-old game of Exquisite Corpse, invented by surrealist artist Andre Breton: you might know it by a different name, and the game has variations, but basically, you fold a piece of paper into three sections, and then three people draw a picture on it, without looking at what any of their fellow artists did. Then you unfold it to reveal a glorious or disturbing collaboration!

In the case of The Beautiful Book of Exquisite Corpses, edited by yours truly, the book has 110 contributors who started an Exquisite Corpse for you and friends to finish. (And they’re on perforated pages, so you can easily pull them out!) Because I am ridiculously fortunate, those 110 contributors include some amazingly gifted comics artists, writers, musicians, and actors, who have collectively won the Pulitzer Prize, the Tony Award, and the World Series. To name nine: Stephen Fry. Emily Nussbaum. Peter Kuper. Alexandra Petri. James Hannaham. Jane Espenson. Grace Slick. Moby. Mark Alan Stamaty.

Most of the pages have drawings, while a minority are seeded with sentences. (There’s also a verbal version of the Exquisite Corpse game.) But what’s consistent is that the contributors brought their A games: if you flip through this book, you will be constantly delighted. And once you actually tear it apart and start playing with it, you’ll be having as much fun as is humanly possible with your pants on. (Unless you take your pants off first.)

You can buy The Beautiful Book of Exquisite Corpses from your local bookstore or from many online retailers, including Barnes & Noble, Powell’s, Amazon, and Target–or just go to the Penguin web page for links to those venues and many others.

posted 30 August 2018 in Buy My Stuff. no comments yet

I Want My Music Video

Sometimes the pleasure of journalism is that you learn everything you can about a topic and then share that information with the world. A few weeks ago, I knew a lot about the music-video business in the 1980s–that’s what happens when you cowrite a book with the original MTV VJs–but I wasn’t too savvy about how the industry worked today, beyond a vague awareness that it had all migrated to YouTube and so it had to make financial sense somehow. After talking to a whole bunch of experts, I know a lot more now about the 21st-century music video, and if you read this article I wrote for Billboard, so will you.

posted 15 August 2018 in Articles. no comments yet

The Day the Music Died

I drove down to Monroe, North Carolina, and spent a bittersweet day at Holloway’s Music Center–a musical-instrument store that, after 106 years of ownership by the same family, is turning off the lights. (They hope that if they liquidate enough stock, they’ll find somebody who wants to buy the business.)

The air conditioning was busted, so an industrial fan blew cool air over the water-stained carpets. A giant sagging yellow sign outside the store advertised “LIQUIDATION SALE.” The store’s proprietor, Marion Holloway – a silver-haired man of 71 with a smile for everyone – said of the sign, “That gets more attention than ‘OLD FART RETIRING.’”

To read the whole Charlotte Observer article, click here.

posted 12 June 2018 in Articles, Outside. no comments yet

1988 Countdown: Commercial Break #27

(New to the countdown? Catch up here.)

Screen Shot 2018-06-05 at 10.39.54 AMTime to visit the Duke.

Let’s dispatch this commercial break quickly so we can get back to the videos sooner rather than later.

We kick off with the eighth appearance of the frequently played promo for “Big Bang ’89”: live performances from Robert Plant, Poison, Winger, Cameo, Hall and Oates, Escape Club, Bobby Brown, and Vixen. “Five number-one hits in your face and more!”

Then, the even-more-frequently played commercial (fourteen times and counting!) for The January Man. Man, Kevin Kline, Susan Sarandon, and Danny Aiello were young once.

A Gillette ad for their Astra razors. Lots of slow-motion footage of well-groomed men: businessmen, astronauts, and for some reason, the Los Angeles Rams. (Yes, I’ve been recapping this countdown long enough that the Rams have relocated to L.A.)

A commercial for Michelob Dry. The first half, the typography has serifs and both upper and lower case; the second half, it’s all bold sans-serif caps.

A quick spot for Willow on VHS. “At last, a family epic with heart to match its spectacle.”

Screen Shot 2018-06-05 at 10.38.53 AMSomething shiny and new and seventeen seconds long! The word ONLY in large white capitals on a black screen. A vintage shot of a Sputnik-era satellite. The words WORLD WIDE, and then ALREDEDOR DEL MUNDO, followed by what I assume is the equivalent message in kanji. A quick montage of world maps saturated with color, followed by an array of satellite dishes with ominous clouds moving behind them. The soundtrack is humming modem-type noises with some teletype clacking. Then some photo negative faces, the words MUSIC VIDEO, a close-up on a mouth blowing smoke, a quick flurry of computer graphics and maps, and the word NETWORK before we end with the MTV logo.

posted 5 June 2018 in 1988. 2 comments

The World According to Tom Hanks

WorldAccordingTomHanks.inddComing in October from Grand Central Publishing! With illustrations by the brilliant R. Sikoryak! Scientifically engineered to make your world a better place! Stay tuned for more information!

posted 29 May 2018 in Buy My Stuff. no comments yet

Voice Rising

Hello citizens of Chapel Hill! I will be in your fair city on this Tuesday, May 22nd, as part of the “Voice Rising” series at Flyleaf Books. There’ll be a small bevy of authors reading brand-new work: me, Rowan Chand, Jane Falkner, and Sara Oechsle. And we’ll be answering questions afterwards. (Flyleaf will also have a selection of my books on hand, so I’d be happy to sign a copy of The Tao of Bill Murray for you.) Be there! Bring everyone you know!

Details: Flyleaf Books, 752 Martin Luther King Blvd. (Historic Airport Rd.), Chapel Hill, NC 27514. This Tuesday, May 22nd, starting at 7 pm. See you there!

posted 20 May 2018 in News. no comments yet

The Beautiful Book of Exquisite Corpses

tbboec revised coverComing in August from Penguin! Edited by yours truly! With over a hundred brilliant contributors! Start lining up at your local bookstore now! More information soon!

posted 11 May 2018 in Buy My Stuff. no comments yet